Although I was thrilled beyond belief to finish, I knew I could do better than I did. My biggest limiter was obviously open water swimming. Luckily I live about 3 miles south of one of the best places to learn open water swimming – Lake Erie. It has all the largeness of an ocean, but none of the salt water.
I discovered the local Lake MetroPark System offered a class that was nothing but open water swimming in Lake Erie. It was in Fairport Harbor and every Tuesday morning at 7am I could swim or kayak with a large group and lots of lifeguards. I went every week except for one when I was out of town. We could swim a half mile out to the breakwall and a half mile back. At first I would kayak out to the wall and start the swim back. If I got too tired, the life guard would pull me up on his wave runner and ride me back to shore. Each week I could swim farther and farther. I also learned to relax more so I didn’t panic in open water. By the end of the summer, I was able to complete the entire distance in about an hour. It is still slow, but at least I know I can do it.
Right now the lake is iced over, but I plan on getting into the open water earlier in the season than I did last year.
All that extra swimming started to pay off.
I did my second sprint triathlon at the end of July. It was the Pirate Triathlon at Fairport Harbor – exactly where I’d been training. This one was a little shorter – 500 m (1/3 mile) swim, 20K bike (12.4 miles) and a 5K (3.1 miles).
Swim – 28:38 min
Bike – 1:00:56 including transition
Run - 40:21 including transition
My transitions were about 5 mins each.
Overall my time was 2:09:55.
Woo Hoo – I knocked 40+ minutes off my time.